High School vs. College
The transition from high school to college can be jarring, even if you already have an idea of what to expect. Personally, I was unsure if I would be blindsided by the incoming load of responsibilities or if I was just getting myself too worked up. Whatever the case is for you, knowing the difference between high school and college may help you know what to expect and adjust to the transition.
What You Should be Getting Out of the Process
College may seem like just another step up in education, like high school is to middle school. While that technically is the case, as classes are harder and you may still take liberal arts courses, that mindset deters from what you should be getting out of college. High school is centered around discipline and general knowledge, inadvertently shaping students to prioritize grades. Meanwhile in college, making grades the top priority diminishes the value of your education. Use college as a chance to prepare yourself for your desired field, attain skills and connections, and learn to be fully independent. From my experience, having to get out of the grades first mindset is uncomfortable. That is not to say you should be indifferent toward your grades, but make sure you get the most out of your investment.
More Freedom and Responsibility
My guess is you are sick of getting lectured about how college and adulthood make you more independent but load you with responsibility. So am I, yet I am inclined to stress the importance of independence anyway. You will start taking initiative, from scheduling to finances to accommodations, etc., in college. However, there is a surprising amount of flexibility when you get to college. You have much more control over your schedule, classes are not guaranteed to take up your entire day like they did in high school, and you get to choose your own lifestyle. You are given responsibility in an environment where you have some choices but also support and resources to guide you.
High School is a Requirement, College is a Tool
College may not be mandatory for success, but it does serve as a helpful tool for developing skills for your desired career and for life in general. You learn to be financially responsible, explore career options and internship opportunities, and gain a sense of living on your own. All the while you have people to offer advice and guidance as you learn what you want to do with your life. Overall, college helps to make the transition to adulthood easier and less confusing.
Need Help with Your Search?
Personally, I found it helpful to see in person whether a university was a good fit for me. Maybe you are where I was, looking at colleges but unsure of where to start. A campus visit is a good first step. I suggest you check out huntington.edu/Visit and see if Huntington University is right for you!